From 1994 through 1998, Pepsi dominated USA Today’s Ad Meter roster, topping the paper’s list of most popular Super Bowl commercials with a series of spots featuring lab chimps, brand traitors and grizzlies boogying to the sounds of the Village People. But a surging Anheuser-Busch and its menagerie of draught horses and playful pups stole the soda manufacturer’s thunder as the millennium approached, and Bud would go on to post a winning streak of its own, one that spanned an entire decade.
If Pepsi’s flagship brands were no longer running the table, the nascent Sierra Mist helped keep up morale by snagging two of 2003’s top 10 Ad Meter nods, including the No. 3 pick for the clever “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”-sampling “Hot Monkey.” (Pepsi wouldn’t roll out another pair of top 10 spots until 2011.)
The Sierra Mist ads debuted just as Pepsi was expanding the three-year-old brand’s distribution profile, taking it from select regional markets to a national footprint. A year after the Super Bowl spots aired, Sierra Mist had passed 7Up as the country’s No. 2 lemon-lime soda, trailing only Coca-Cola’s Sprite in the category.
Both Sierra Mist ads, "Hot Monkey" and Hydrant," were directed for BBDO New York by Kinka Usher, a prolific French commercial director who also lensed the 1999 feature film “Mystery Men.” PepsioCo would rename Sierra Mist many years later as Mist Twst.
BRAND: Sierra Mist
QUARTER AIRED: Q2